Trying a Scorpion in Beijing

The Forbidden City, Beijing | Peter Walton
The Forbidden City, Beijing | Peter Walton
As I read through my guidebook about the different things to do in Beijing, the thing that kept on coming up was to visit the different markets across this city.

These markets sell all sorts of items -  from pearls to selfie sticks - you name it, at least one market will sell the item you're looking for!

However there was only one market that I was really interested in visiting, and that was the food market; Wangfujing night market. This market dates back to the Ming Dynasty.

As I turned down into one of the Hutong’s (side alleys), the variety of different smells, sounds and food’s available immersed me in a multitude of scents and sensations.
Starfish on skewers, people crunching fried silk worms and dumpling’s bubbling in water; everything was strange, new and eye popping!

Starfish on skewers, people crunching fried silk worms and dumpling’s bubbling in water; everything was strange, new and eye popping!

As I walked around Wangfujing, I saw food that I didn't even know was possible to eat such as scorpions, sea horses and spiders!

While I certainly could not bring myself to eat a spider, I decided to try a fried scorpion. As I was handed this scorpion on a stick I was unsure what to make of it… was it even safe to eat these creatures? Weren’t the stings poisonous? The woman cooking the scorpion reassured me, telling me that they were not poisonous when exposed to heat.

So I put my trust in this woman and bit into the scorpion... The taste was like a really fried salty chip.

While I didn't get poisoned from the scorpion, I would certainly not rush to eating them again and I think it is fair to say that I will be sticking to dumplings and duck next time I order a Chinese!

This is just one adventure that can be had in Beijing – I thoroughly recommend a visit!

William Shears

View our China destination page for ideas of what your school could do in China.

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